Blockchain payments firm Ripple and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are unlikely to reach a settlement any time soon, this is according to well-known attorney James K. Filan, who is observing the case with much interest.
Expecting Settlement Soon? Don’t Bet On It
The SEC filed a complaint against Ripple and individual defendants CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen in December for the alleged sale of XRP tokens via an unregistered securities offering.
Industry players responded by delisting the cryptocurrency from a majority of exchanges while major partnerships like the one with MoneyGram, crumbled under the legal pressure. MoneyGram has reportedly now been approached by Ripple’s rival Stellar for a potential acquisition.
Later on, the murmur of an almost unavoidable settlement in the SEC v. Ripple $1.3 billion lawsuit swirled, with some pundits even elaborating how such a scenario would look like.
However, Filan, a criminal defense lawyer who has specialized in commercial litigation, believes a settlement in the near term is not likely. In a seven-part Twitter thread on July 30, he explained that neither the SEC nor Ripple is ready to give up.
The lawyer is certain Ripple deposed the SEC’s former director of corporation finance, William Hinman, as the firm noted that he had first-hand knowledge of the agency’s communication with third parties. According to him, Ripple now has the names of the people Hinman spoke to and what was said. This is important to the Howey test, and the aiding and abetting charge. Additionally, it will bolster Ripple’s fair notice defense.
The Ripple Case Is More About Making The Whole Crypto Space Succeed
As the legal battle continues with no clear resolution on the horizon, Ripple’s legal troubles have become symbolic of the fuzzy regulations enveloping crypto assets.
While the community is divided into the SEC’s actions and inactions and whether the case is about punishing the agency or anyone else, Filan thinks it’s more about addressing the underlying issue of lack of clarity in crypto without harming the entire industry. He added:
“If the SEC or anyone else gets hurt in the process, they brought it on themselves. But that’s not the goal. The goal is to clean this mess up and move forward. So I don’t think a settlement is coming anytime soon. This is a war. I think we should settle in for the long haul.”
Notably, this Ripple case has become a cause célèbre in the cryptoverse. The San Francisco-headquartered fintech firm has notched several wins in the lawsuit so far.